TBWAMedia Arts Lab President Lee Clow Retires

The global media arts director of global advertising collective TBWA, and founder and president of TBWAMedia Arts Lab, will serve in an advisory role as chairman emeritus of the agency he founded in 2006 to serve Apple and embody its vision of an agency. that impacts culture, rather than just “doing ads”.

“The years I’ve spent doing what’s called ‘advertising’ have been fun: challenging, rewarding, infuriating, sometimes painful, but mostly joyful. And I wouldn’t trade a day for that.” Clow, an original partner of ChiatDay and former president of TBWAWorldwide, reflected, in his “Love Note to Publicity”, published today.

Clow continues to work on a personal film project that tells the story behind some of the most famous and heartbreaking commercials in history, recalling his 50 years of ChiatDay – the people, the work – and telling how they have done it.

He will also remain involved with the agency’s social impact group, For Good, based in Los Angeleswhere he will advise on selected projects for clients who share his commitment to the planet and the people (and animals) that inhabit it.

Don’t do the right thing“, he issued a challenge to the agency, the advertising world and clients, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of TBWAChiatDay in 2018. “Be of courage. Do what doesn’t just challenge the status quo, but reshapes it, forever.”

Clow actually announced his retirement to the agency, alumni and close friends of October 2018at a party on At Jay Chiat’s anniversary, as part of the year-round “ChiatDay 50” celebration. His decision to officially share the news with the industry on Valentine’s Day is a nod to At Jay Chiat’s unconventional custom of sending Valentine’s Day cards to staff, colleagues and customers, instead of the expected “season’s greetings” usually sent during the December holidays.

Clow’s career, which began at ChiatDay in Los Angeles, spans five decades. It tells a story of “doing the brave thing”, with disruptive campaigns that embody “California cool.” He took ChiatDay’s creative and bold advertising style globally when he helped lead the successful merger with TBWA, crystallizing the agency’s reputation as a destination for professionals in creation who want to do groundbreaking and iconic work.

“Lee will always be our creative conscience,” said Troy Ruhanen, President and CEO, TBWAWorldwide. “He gave so much to our company and our industry. His challenge for us, to do the brave thing, to disrupt, will continue to be our North Star. We all love you, Lee.”

“Lee is one of the most talented and visionary leaders in our industry,” said John Wren, president and CEO of Omnicom Group. “Over the past five decades, he has built a foundation of creative excellence for the TBWA network that has distinguished the agency among its peers. On behalf of the Omnicom family, I would like to thank Lee for his invaluable leadership and contributions important to our group.”

There is perhaps no better example of Clow’s impact on the industry than its 30+ year partnership with Apple. From the launch of the Macintosh in 1984 to the now famous “Think Different (Here’s to the Crazy Ones)” campaign that launched Apple’s renaissance in 1997. Over the past two decades, he has helped orchestrate Apple’s moves , in music with iPod and iTunes with the famous “Silhouettes” campaign, in phones with the category-redefining iPhone, then, creating the “campaign of the decade”, “Get a Mac (Mac vs. PC)”. Then he helped Apple forge a whole new category with the iPad. More recently, Clow led the creative teams that launched Apple Music to the world and worked on the introduction of Apple Watch.

Tim CookApple CEO, added, “During his long partnership with Steve and Apple, Lee has told powerful visual stories that have elevated new technologies with the passion, creativity and ingenuity that define our own humanity. He helped Apple through tough times, and his work inspired audiences to look beyond the horizon as an exciting future unfolded. Lee’s work spanning five decades buzzes with intelligence, warmth and enthusiasm – and there is no doubt that he will inspire and motivate generations of “Crazy Ones” yet to come. to come.”

In 2018, Adweek named TBWA its “Global Agency of the Year”, recognizing its strong global relationship with Apple, one of the industry’s oldest and most prolific creative partnerships.

The agency will continue to serve Apple worldwide, led by TBWAMedia Arts Lab Global President, Catherine De Bauw, and by Global Creative Director, Brent Anderson, and to set global creative standards. In 2018, Media Arts Lab won 64 awards: for the launch of HomePod, with its film “Welcome Home”, winner of the Cannes Lions Grand Prix; for the evolution of its “Shot on iPhone” campaign towards long-format content around the world (notably the film “Three Minutes” in China), and on social networks, with @apple; and for its “Behind the Mac” campaign (including an animated short for Apple’s holiday campaign titled “Share Your Gifts”).

“By constantly pushing ourselves to achieve the creative standard he set, we are better than we could ever imagine,” said Brent Andersonadding, “So we’re going to do exactly what he always told us to do: ‘Make it smart. Make it beautiful. And have fun.'”

Clow often attributes his shrewd, free-thinking and creative style to his California roots. To celebrate his outstanding contributions to the creative community and his love for his hometown, the agency established a scholarship to the College of the Arts—School of Art at Clow’s alma mater, California State University Long Beach (CSULB). Additionally, all proceeds from his film project will go to a previously established college fund in the names of Clow and Chiat at Art Center College of Designwhich was created to help low- and middle-income students with tuition and costs.

In addition, the TBWA agencies of Los Angeles will continue to honor Clow’s impact on the Southern California creative community by partnering with Turnaround Arts: California, a national public-private partnership that leverages the arts to spark transformation in the state’s neediest schools. Agency leaders and staff will work with Turnaround Arts educators on programs that build creative skills in teachers and students, including hosting workshops focused on graphic design, coding, and creative problem solving.

Clow is a member of the One Club Hall of Fame, the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, and the Museum of Modern Art’s Advertising Hall of Fame, and has been honored by the Clios with a Lifetime Achievement Award and by Cannes Lions with the Lion of St. Mark. Clow has also been inducted into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame and the American Marketing Association Hall of Fame.

About TBWAaround the world
TBWA is The Disruption® Company: the cultural engine of 21st century business. Appointed Advertising week‘s Global Agency of the Year 2018, we create disruptive ideas that localize and engage brands in culture, giving them a bigger slice of the future. Our collective has 11,300 creative minds across 275 offices in 95 countries, and also includes brands such as AUDITOIRE, Digital Arts Network (DAN), eg+ worldwide, GMR, The Integer Group®, TBWAMedia Arts Lab, TBWAWorldHealth and TRO. Global customers include adidas, Apple, Gatorade, Henkel, Hilton Hotels, McDonald’s, Michelin, Nissan and Singapore Airlines. follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and instagramand like us on Facebook.

About Omnicom Group Inc.
Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) (http://www.omnicomgroup.com) is one of the world’s leading marketing and corporate communications companies. Omnicom’s brand networks and numerous specialist companies provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations and other communications services specialists to more than 5,000 customers in more than 100 countries.


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